Community bank trade associations remained neutral on the North American Free Trade Agreement, mostly out of respect for the differing opinions of their members, their spokesmen say.

"We dissected the issue well enough to find that because of the differences of opinion, it would be difficult to reach a consensus," said Ron Ence, director of agricultural finance at the Nafta-neutral Independent Bankers Association of America. "Most people will agree, even those who are opposed to Nafta, that it will be a win-win situation for the financial industry. Those IBAA members who oppose Nafta do so not because it will be bad for banking."

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